Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pineapple Coconut Bread Pudding

Some weekends call for dessert as breakfast. Feel free to give this one a try! The trickiest part of the recipe was making the caramel sauce from scratch. I've master many a batch of caramel and the process still keeps me on my toes a little bit. If you're too wary, a jar of the ice cream topping will do just as well. No one needs that high a level of anxiety first thing in the morning after all. The rest of the dish comes together in a pinch, though a decent chunk of time is needed to bake the pudding. This may not be the recipe for a house hold full of early risers...maybe brunch would be more appropriate. And really, who doesn't enjoy brunch.

The original recipe called for a fair amount of sugar in ADDITION to the caramel sauce. Really, between the sweet bread, the sauce and the sweet fruity flavors, this bread pudding really does not need the extra sweetness. However...adding in that extra coconut and sprinkle of nuts on top give the dish a wonderful boost.

pudding adapted from What's Cooking, Love?
sauce adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

serves 8

The Ingredients
for the caramel sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp butter, cut into 4-6 pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt

for the pudding
1 lb day old Portuguese Sweet Bread (such as King's Hawaiian)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 - 14 oz can coconut milk
2/3 cup crushed pineapple, with juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted (optional)

The Process:
for the sauce
Place a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and heat, stir occasionally using a rubber spatula. The sugar will begin to clump and melt. Once the all of the sugar melts and forms a thick amber-colored syrup, add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring until completely. Be careful...it will sputter.

Once the butter has been combined, slowly drizzle in the cream, again being careful of sputtering.  Allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Transfer to a heat proof dish and allow to cool.

for the pudding:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla. Add the cubed bread and toss to coat. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the egg mixture.

Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Layer half of the bread mixture into the bottom of the dish. Drizzle with half of the caramel sauce and layer the flaked coconut on top. Top with the remaining bread mixture. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and sprinkle the pudding with toasted macadamia nuts (if desired).

Bake, uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until the pudding is set and slightly puffed. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Top with additional caramel sauce if desired.

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